Friday, August 12, 2005

State governments out of cigarette money

NewsMax cites an Investor's Business Daily retrospective on the "great tobacco rush" of the mid-90's. Apparently the settlement money that all the states were so eager to get their hands on did not quite make it through it's proper channels.

The $246 billion settlement between tobacco companies and the states was supposed to go for anti-smoking education and to treat tobacco-related illnesses but a mere 3 percent has actually been spent on prevention.

Much of the money has gone instead to help states plug budget deficits, according to Investor's Business Daily.

Those who pay attention to how governments operate could have told everybody this...and they tried. But so consumed was this country in their righteous indignation to the sneaky marketing of Big Tobacco that they were blinded by Big Government's shameful exploitation of the situation. We were so busy cheering at the states sticking it to the tobacco companies that we failed to notice they were also sticking it to us.

Now that the reservoir has dried up, the IBD has some ideas of what the next targets will likely be:

"The grubbers are probably done with the tobacco industry. That cow's been milked about dry. The next victims will probably come from the ranks of fast-food chains, meat producers or gun makers (which some in Congress are trying to shield from voracious liability lawyers).

Hide those Happy Meals, the clown is next.

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